The third from the sun in the Elom system, Monbale is a young planet in geological terms. An important area of the surface is still covered with hot lava, reflecting significant volcanic activity. The planet has been passing through an ice age for centuries and, though temperatures are rising in its atmosphere, the glaciers are still retreating, leaving the planet's poles capped in thick ice. The rest of the planet consist of a single mountainous continent and what could be called a huge inner sea.
Life can be harsh on the plains as, all through the year, strong winds blow through them from the sea. When the winds meet the cool air currents coming from the mountains, massive storms are formed, which can last for weeks. Conditions are worse during the hot, summer season, however, as tornadoes and flash floods are not uncommon during that time of the year. Climate on the mountains is more regular, and tends to be cold and dry, depending on the distance to the sea or to the volcanic area.
Early settlements in the mountains were related to mining. Mineral resources, although not plentiful, are still being discovered. While there may be unknown resources in the unexplored regions of the planet, there have been complaints against mining activity by environmental groups. They support the notion that the mining activity is affecting the ecology by forcing the ice's retreat and contributing to the global warming trend. Many, including the mining companies, argue that mining cannot be the sole cause of these changes -- pointing to volcanic activity as the main source of gases generating a greenhouse effect.